EHS Data have been providing software and services to our clients to help them manage and report on their Environmental, Health and Safety Data for more than 14 years. This paper deals with the global evolution in environmental concerns and how this changes the data management obligations and requirements of companies.
We have found that the drivers range from mandatory obligations such as permits, through voluntary processes such as Sustainability / Corporate Social Responsibility. Historically the management of environmental impacts was of concern because it had to be and companies could simply not operate unless they had a Permit within which their environmental impact was regulated. In recent years however, voluntary processes have grown rapidly and companies have increasingly seen these as a means of demonstrating to shareholders, potential investors and other stakeholders that they behave responsibly and seek to manage and reduce their impacts. In
All of these drivers mean that companies have to manage and report on an ever-increasing volume of data. In the past as data collection was simple this was often carried out using generic tools such as Microsoft Excel. With the increase in drivers however, the volume and complexity of the data management task has grown rapidly and, as a consequence, the ability of Excel, and similar tools, to cope has reduced. This has meant that companies are very often unable to efficiently manage and report on data, leading to a potential inability to manage performance, loss of confidence of regulators and increased corporate risk. There are however a number of specialist tools on the market to help with this process and we describe some of the ways our systems have had to evolve to help clients, particularly in